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Overall Welfare System in UK - Essay Example

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Introduction The overall welfare system in UK is considered as one of the leading welfare systems in the world owing to the fact that it has been able to serve the State and its citizens since last many years. Over the period of time, there have been many changes and amendments in the way system has evolved…
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Overall Welfare System in UK
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Download file to see previous pages Due to current economic crisis faced by UK specifically and other developed countries, there has been a greater emphasis however, on to reform the welfare system of the country. Considering the high fiscal deficit incurred by the government and extra burden put by the welfare expenses, the current efforts by the government to radically reform the system therefore are based upon reducing the fiscal burden and further rationalize the welfare system. UK however, is currently being ruled through a coalition government with Conservatives and Lib Dems at the helm of the affairs. The coalition nature of the government therefore is making it tough for David Cameron to actually not to get a free hand in making radical changes in the overall reform system of the country. This paper, drawing on the theories from Politics and Sociology, will discuss how the coalition government is reflected in the current reforms efforts by David Cameron. Welfare State as a Concept A welfare state as a concept involves active and key involvement of government in ensuring the economic and social well-being of the citizens of the state. Based on certain principles such as equality of opportunities and equal distribution of wealth, a welfare state aims at providing minimum standards of life which can be maintained for those who otherwise cannot do so on their own. As such, welfare state as a concept requires formation of institutions and policies which requires a government to take certain steps to achieve the policy objectives. (Rothstein, 1998)  Welfare states therefore involve themselves in transfer of funds for the services provided as well as to the individuals. The expenditure of government on the welfare is often done through redistribution of taxation i.e. what government earns through the levying taxes. Esping-Andersen outlined three ways around which a welfare state can be developed i.e. social democratic, conservative and democratic. Social democratic welfare is considered as an idealistic welfare state because of its universalism appeal. Accordingly, a social democratic welfare state is based upon providing universal access to benefits and services based on the citizenship of the individuals. (Esping-Andersen, 1990)  The liberal regime however, is based upon dominance of market and private provision- the overall involvement of state is only limited to the provision of basic needs which too are often mean-tested. Social stratification therefore is relatively high under the liberal regime and decommodification of state benefits is considered as low. United Kingdom as a Welfare State The history of reforms in UK dates back to first decade of 20th century when serious efforts were taken to bring in changes in the Way State actually responded to the needs of its citizens. Liberal Welfare Reforms were first introduced during 1906-1914 when Labor Party of the country introduced a series of social legislations. It has been argued that the establishment of UK as a modern welfare State started with these reforms. These reforms also showed a change in the way Labor Party politically aligned itself and advocated for more active role of government in the welfare of citizens. During these reforms many important legislations such as National Insurance Contribution, free school meals, Old Age Pension act as well as the Development Act were enacted by the government. These ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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